After a strong start and a disappointing middle to their season, it appears that the McMaster men’s lacrosse team is heating up just at the right time. After holding off a furious Laurier compare cialis levitra viagra rally in the dying minutes of their second-to-last game of the season to take the 10-9 win, McMaster officially punched their ticket to the playoffs on Friday night.
After news that Toronto had lost their game filtered through a couple hours later, it was determined that Mac would be the fourth seed. Even though the Maroon dropped their season finale 14-8 to Guelph, the squad is poised to do some damage in the wild card round. Though the cancellation of two of the final regular season games due to rain has muddled the schedule, and the Marauders will not know who their opponent will be until a future date, the men can use the momentum of taking two of their last three games against whichever opponent they face.
Friday’s game against Laurier kept McMaster lacrosse fans thoroughly entertained, despite giving them quite the scare. The teams got to a quick start, each picking up a trio of goals in the first quarter. Once again, Mark Phillips was the catalyst for the Marauder’s offense, picking up two of those goals. The teams would swap a pair of goals each in the second, with Phillips notching his third of the game.
McMaster looked to put the game out of reach in the third, as Justin Beatty, Tristan Schram, Ryan Adams and Phillips each potted a goal for the 9-6 lead. But Laurier would not go quietly, as Drew Barfoot scored halfway through the fourth to move the Golden Hawks within two scores. Phillips scored his fifth of the game before Laurier scored two late goals to make things very interesting for Mac’s liking. Goaltender Max Yavitt stood tall against the final Laurier barrage to secure the win and the playoff berth. After Phillips, Mitchell Iszkula was Mac’s next leading scorer on the day with a goal and three assists.
Although the men would have liked to close out the regular season on a winning note, the Gryphons made sure this did not happen, winning the game with a score of 14-8. The Maroon and Grey played a strong game against the Guelph team, however, but in the end their run wasn’t enough, and the Gryphons prevailed. Phillips once again put up the five-spot, finishing the season with 31 goals on the year, slotting him fifth in the league goal-scoring race. Izskula took his familiar position just behind Phillips on the scoresheet for the day, picking up three points, which was good for thirty on the year.
Once the make up games are played, the Marauders will learn whether they face Western or Guelph in the wild card round this week. The Baggataway Cup final six then gets under way the following week, as Canada’s top university teams battle it out from Nov. 1 – Nov. 3.